My journey on Instagram, part 3: Tulcan to Quito, plus a trip to the Galapagos.
My first full day in Ecuador started off sunny. I went up and the weather went down. As I entered endless fields of frailejones, the clouds rolled in and I was enveloped in a storm of rain and hail. I rode through the El Angel reserve and when I arrived at the ranger station, they fed me lunch and gave me a bed to sleep in. The next morning I woke up for a glorious sunrise and incredible vistas of far-off volcanoes towering over the land. Ecuador, so far you do not disappoint.
It was Day of the Deceased in Ecuador today. To mark the occasion, people visit the graves of their loved ones and place flowers and cards at it. The cemetery in Ibarra was just down the road from my hostel so I went and took in the experience. I was fascinated by the cemetery and the way the graves are stacked up in rows. I was also saddened by the row of smaller graves higher up, I assume for children week who died too young.
I expected to see a big sign when I crossed the equator today – instead all there was was a little red mark at the side of the road. So instead of an equator selfie, here's a picture from Fuya Fuya, a 4,279 metre peak I climbed yesterday after cycling to Laguna de Mojanda from Otavao. After, I camped by the lake and enjoyed a fire with some Frenchies while watching the moon rise. Today I put in a big day to make it to the Casa De Ciclista in Tumbaco, just outside Quito, where I'm going to leave it while I make an impromptu trip to the Galapagos!
Animals of the #Galapagos: 1. Land iguanas 2. Red crabs 3. Pelicans and sharks 4. Giant tortoises 5. Flamingos 6. Sea lions 7. Blue-footed boobies 8. Lizards 9. Marine iguanas 10. Penguins. Not pictured but also seen: marine turtles, white-tipped sharks, sting rays, eagle rays and many more fish and birds.
From the Galapagos to 4,700 metres in 48 hours. Probably not what the doctor recommends but it worked. This was from the summit of Pichincha, which was accessed via the teleferico in Quito. After a couple of days in Quito, I've reunited with my bike at the casa de ciclista in Tumbaco and plan to soon be off to Cotopaxi volcano and stage two of my journey.
Tomorrow I'm finally going to ride my bike again and start making some distance from the equator. The other day a group of us went up to Mitad del Mundo birth of Quito, which straddles the invisible line and where there are not one, but two equator museums. We took a tour of the first one, but only took a photo outside the other one – which isn't even on the equator! After all, how many equator facts are there, really?